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Title: Aeration costs in stirred-tank and bubble column bioreactors

To overcome knowledge gaps in the economics of large-scale aeration for production of commodity products, Aspen Plus is used to simulate steady-state oxygen delivery in both stirred-tank and bubble column bioreactors, using published engineering correlations for oxygen mass transfer as a function of aeration rate and power input, coupled with new equipment cost estimates developed in Aspen Capital Cost Estimator and validated against vendor quotations. Here, these simulations describe the cost efficiency of oxygen delivery as a function of oxygen uptake rate and vessel size, and show that capital and operating costs for oxygen delivery drop considerably moving from standard-size (200 m 3) to world-class size (500 m 3) reactors, but only marginally in further scaling up to hypothetically large (1000 m 3) reactors. Finally, this analysis suggests bubble-column reactor systems can reduce overall costs for oxygen delivery by 10-20% relative to stirred tanks at low to moderate oxygen transfer rates up to 150 mmol/L-h.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2]
  1. DWH Process Consulting LLC, Centennial, CO (United States)
  2. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1369-703X
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Biochemical Engineering Journal
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 127; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 1369-703X
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Bioenergy Technologies Office (EE-3B)
Country of Publication:
United States
09 BIOMASS FUELS; aerobic fermentation; bioreactor design; capital cost; gas-liquid oxygen mass transfer
OSTI Identifier: